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“A Rustic Rainforest Oasis”
Review of Cabins El Sol

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Cabins El Sol
Ranked #12 of 42 Monteverde B&B and Inns
Reviewed September 9, 2008

We stayed at El Sol for 2 nights in late August and very much enjoyed our stay. El Sol is located 5km south of Santa Elena on the road to San Jose and takes 10 or 15 minutes actual driving time from Santa Elena. While there we stayed in the small cabin which was a treat. The cabin includes a bathroom with shower, a kitchen with sink, dishes, fridge, propane burners and a very large and very comfortable bed. Overlooking a gorgeous valley, the cabin sits by itself on the owner's property so you have ultimate privacy. As mentioned in other reviews, there are bugs here and there in the cabin, but it is a cabin...on a farm. It would have been more surprising if there weren't bugs.

Elisabeth, the owner of El Sol was an extremely gracious host and made our stay in the Santa Elena area as pleasurable as possible. She arranged for a delicious dinner of tortillas and fixings to be delivered to the cabin on our first rain soaked night and also had an amazing breakfast spread prepared for us the next morning (neither, however, are included in the cabin rental). She also arranged for us to go horseback riding ($60 a person) from the property with two guides and the family staying in the large cabin. The riding was certainly not beginner's horseback riding as it was down to the base of the valley and back up on rocky and muddy trails. However it was very fun and included brunch in the middle of the river at the bottom of the valley overlooking a waterfall.

The property overall is beautiful and also has a pool and sauna which we didn't used but looked inviting enough. It does get dark very early but the sun also comes up early as well...so we got early starts and were asleep by 9pm both nights. One final note of caution: Elisabeth only accepts cash. Plan ahead so you don't get delayed on your way out of town waiting an hour and a half in line at one of Santa Elena's two banks like we did! For more info about our trip to Costa Rica visit our travel blog at http://patrinadoestheglobe.blogspot.com/

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank patrickfoster18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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171 - 177 of 203 reviews

Reviewed September 7, 2008

Due to our job we have visited many B&B (more than 170).
It's difficult to find all you are looking for a B&B at the same time:
warm hospitality, good location, delicious food, cleanness, comfortable beds, good taste,... We found it in El Sol.

HOSTS
Elisabeth has been one of the warmest host we have ever met.
A sincere person that give genuine and true hugs. We will never forget the positive energy she has.
Elisabeth's son, Javier, has been the best guide out of the 7 we had in Costa Rica. He loves nature and you can feel it. He knows maaaany things, really well prepared.

CABINS and BUGS
If you are going to stay at a cabin anywhere, you have to accept that there will be some bugs and ants around. You are in the middle of the forest in a wood cabin. We just had one bug.
If you are looking for a 5 star hotel with ac, 24 hour service,... Cabins El Sol is not for you.

BREAKFAST
Great breakfast with plenty of different choices.

VIEWS
Cabins el Sol has 2 independent cabins (for 2 and for 4 people) and a main and big cabin for... I'm not sure... 5-6 persones?.
From the two independent cabins you have incredible views, not from the main cabin, but the main cabin is best decorated and finished. I would recomend to full the main cabin and not shared it with anyelse, more privacy.

DINNER AT NEIGHBOURS
Don´t miss dinner at neighbourg Manuel. Don't expect sophisticated food, you will have the chance to taste a family food with great ingredients. It remind me the cooking of my grandma, plain and easy, but very tasty. Manuel is a very nice person.

RELAX AND ENJOY IT!

Stayed: August 2008
1  Thank Fileta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2008

So the road to Monteverde from La Fortuna was rough - and don't be tricked when you get into Tilaran! When you drive into town the road signs disappear and you see an entrance into a dirt road that you strongly suspect is the wrong way. We asked someone in rusty spanish and were directed to a boy of about 14 who sold us a photocopy map for 2000 colones ($4). We didn't have to buy it, but we felt bad and wanted to support the locals. But if you want to avoid this uncomfortable situation, just don't ask anyone, drive back one block and you'll see signs back to Monteverde. It's a dirt road (so far - who knows if it'll get paved, the road from San Ramon to La Fortuna to Tilaran just recently got paved and is super nice), but it's fun and has some beautiful valley scenery.

We finally arrived at El Sol much later than expected (we had a tour reschedule in La Fortuna, so we left 6 hours later than we wanted to), and we so regretted losing that time in El Sol! I desperately wished we could have stayed longer (we stayed only one night) to enjoy the scenery and peaceful premises. We drove in right at sunset, and sunset on that road overlooking that valley was just a breathtaking experience - one of those moments where you just stop and contemplate your entire life. Absolutely amazing. The views from the balconies of El Sol would have been the perfect place to just sit and watch - unfortunately we only got to relax there nearing the end of the sunset, but it is just unbelievable. I think all of the cabins have nearly the same wonderful view.

Of course Elisabeth greeted us with a hug, but she seemed pretty busy during our stay, so we didn't get to talk to her much. However, she sent her son Javier to help us with everything. Javier was just so wonderful. He's about our age (early twenties), and we just sat on the balcony watching the sunset and chatting about everything - Costa Rica, how they built the cabins, his family, different cultures, etc. He was really knowledgeable (he's actually also a tour guide) and gave us the best information around. We also saw him in town the next day when we were late for our tour and chatted a bit. He was really more like a good friend than a stranger.

We were lucky that we booked the smaller cabin but arrived to find that we had been upgraded to the larger one for free! I'm not sure how the small one was (mixed reviews here, and I didn't get to see it), but the larger one was truly amazing. I just loved the fresh scent of wood, with a cool elevated area with the bed. There are bugs attracted to the light as in any cabin, but it was a lot less than I would expect, and I found the trick was to turn on the bathroom light when you go to sleep so that the lingering ones are attracted away from the bed. You have your own stove, fridge, etc. with some free beers from the house, coffee (though the coffee maker was a little dirty with some ants in it, so make sure you clean everything first!), sofas, big table, etc. We weren't hungry at first, so the local family made us food for $10 each, brought by a cute little kid. It was really yummy (I really liked the shrimp), though I could have probably eaten a larger portion.

We tried to use the sauna, though it was late at night, but it was really cold out and the sauna didn't heat very hot. Javier went with us to set it up, and then we fueled more firewood in it hoping it would get hot, but it just got kind of hot. I checked the next day when other people were in it, and it was still not all that hot. That was a pity, but we did get to see a few toads in the side of the pool. I'm just glad that we didn't get charged for using the sauna (she listed it as $5 a person, but it didn't even come up as an issue when Javier checked us out, so I'm not sure if she charges at all or not... also not sure about the beers, maybe Javier was just being nice to us...).

Javier recommended Aventura for zip line and canopy tour, primarily because Selvatura has much bigger groups that are less personalized and Aventura had a tour guide for the hanging bridges. We trusted him, and we did not regret it! The guide that we got pointed out agoutis and foxes and owls and a tarantula with a nesting egg and let us eat these narajillas that were growing and tried to find a sloth that he saw the day before. For sure we would have missed those things otherwise. Then the zipline was great - with the highlight being the Tarzan swing, which I think is unique to Aventura. The swing is a little scary at first but really fun and not to be missed!

We returned back to pick up our luggage on our way to the coast, and I was able to use the internet, though it was excruciatingly slow. It was definitely sad to leave, I would definitely go back again to get the full experience. Very romantic, for sure.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lingding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2008

We stayed at El Sol last month and absolutely loved it. Our cabin was fantastic....rustic, well equipped, unreal view, private... perfect for our family of four (children 10 and 12). We spent 3 night in the cabin and Elisabeth was kind enough to let us spend our last night in the main house, which we had to ourselves. The breakfasts were amazing, but be aware they aren't free.
Elisabeth was so kind interesting and interested in us. She made our stay at El Sol truely memorable.
We spent a couple hours at the pool and even enjoyed the sauna... very relaxing!
Be sure to take in a tour with Elisabeth's son Javier. He took us on the night walk tour (in the pouring rain) and made it both fun and interesting.
The detail that Elisabeth puts in to El Sol is from the heart. We loved the natural lighting, wooden door latches, beautiful colors...
I could write more, but really wouldn't do the place justice, let's just say we thought it to be very special

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank vav42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2008

I feel guilty writing a bad review, but also feel obligated to let people know about El Sol. We booked the smaller cabin for two nights. It looked quaint and cozy on the website. However, when we arrived there were literally hundreds of ants in our cabin. They eventually went away, but that basically sums up our experience there.

It was small, no hot water, our lights did not always work, cold, smelled horrible, etc. Elisabeth and her son were both nice, but that didn't make up for the fact that we were staying in a musty cabin. AND it was the most expensive place we stayed the entire trip. Please tell me why I paid $95 to be miserable.

There is a pool there, but Monteverde is cool and with no heating, you do not ever feel like going swimming. Plus it gets dark really early and there are NO lights on the property.

If you are thinking about booking the larger cabin, that looked great. We had two terrific breakfasts in the large cabin and that actually looked like a clean, comfortable place. But if you are thinking of booking the other cabin, just forget it and go camping. Its essentially camping anyway, so why pay $95 for it?

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank maryknighton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2008

El Sol is one of the most amazing places I have ever stayed. We flew in, rented a 4 wheel drive vehicle and drove straight to El Sol in Monteverde. We were expecting the worst roads because of what everyone warned. So I think we were ready for it. It was completely manageable. When it got really bumpy we were laughing hysterically. Don't be alarmed by the directions. You really do follow the landmarks Elizabeth gives and you will find it. And when you do you will be stunned. Everything on the property is made from resources found on the property. The art, the furniture, the pool and sauna, your seats, everything! The cabins were rented but we were able to stay in two rooms of the guest house. It was amazing and private and comfy and great. There are a lot of bugs in Costa Rica. I hate bugs but I was not afraid or bothered at all. We stayed at El Sol, then we went to another place and camped, and then we stayed at a hotel. Believe it or not is was the hotel that we had a bug infestation and had to be moved. I much preferred the cabins and camping.

Elizabeth is the most gracious and pleasant host. She has a special place in our hearts. As do all the staff at El Sol. We would spend the days doing activities and find ourselves rushing back to enjoy el sol. We had the local family bring us dinners every night because our desire was to be at El Sol! The view and energy of El Sol is just what we needed and enjoyed for our vacation. The local children came with a basket of the most amazing dinner ever. We spoke with the children and helped them practice their english, they were adorable. And the morning breakfast is amazing - don't miss it.

My absolute favorite activity was the horseback ride at El Sol. Two guides took us through the mountains, and we rode on the edge of the cliffs (a little scary), and through rivers and farms and herds of cattle. It was nuts. We wound up at a waterfall where we swam and had a typical lunch (costa rican style). Highly recommend this.

We went to Monteverde Cloud Forest and it was really interesting. We took an night time wildlife tour which we definitely should have passed on. It was very crowded and we did not see much. I could get the same experience walking on a trail by my house in NJ at night. Elizabeth recommended a resteraunt - can't remember the name but it was wonderful. I'd trust her recommendations.

We also did a canopy tour in the cloud forest. Highly recommend it. This included 14 zip lines (higher and longer than you want to know), repelling, and a tarzan swing. I have suddenly become afraid of heights so it was a little scary for me but the only way to see the views that we were able to see. The last last zip line was the highest and longest and we had to go tandem so Eric and I got strapped into the harness together. It was a football field high and 6 football fields long. We cruised over the jungle!

My trip advise for all the viewers here is to spend a lot of time at El Sol. Leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy the property, the views, and the feeling of El Sol.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank brooke_L_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2008

We loved this place. We were there two weeks ago with our 3 kids (6-7-8 years old). We had the big cabin. It was very cosy and the view was unbelievable. We will go back there one day. I would recommend it without any hesitation. Elizabeth, the owner is very nice.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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Thank Maggiegaud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabins El Sol

Address: La Lindora, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 42 B&Bs / Inns in Monteverde
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Cabins El Sol Hotel Monteverde
Cabins El Sol Costa Rica/Monteverde

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